Saturday, August 11, 2007

Does Midwifery really affect you?

Just a reminder to those of you who feel that the Midwifery issue has nothing to do with you.....either becasue you don't want to use a Midwife, you don't have kids, you're male, etc. This affects all of us. It's one more right that you currently don't have. Whether it's safe or not aside, this really boils down to personal freedom. This particular issue may not affect you directly, but if this right isn't restored~what's to say that another right might not be restored, or taken away? Each right gone leads to another right gone and so on. Take a moment to think about this. It starts with giving up one thing and snowballs into being told when you can eat, sleep, poop, whatever. If we don't stand up now and say STOP!, we're only asking for trouble. The government is supposed to be run by the people, for the people~but that can only happen when people take action. It doesn't have to be huge, even a well written letter to the editor can make a difference. Each time you speak to someone about an issue that's important to you, you've given that person soemthing to take away with them and think on. We can make a difference!
Blessings and Peace

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Court Ruling

The courts have yet again struck down Midwifery. The judge officially ruled the Midwifery provision in HB818 to be unconstitutional. Could someone please explain to me exactly how legalizing Midwifery does NOT affect lowering health care costs for Missouri families?? It is a major way to cut costs!! Imagine spending only a few thousand dollars as opposed to tens of thousands for having a baby. That's right, a typical Midwife fee might be $2000-$5000, whereas an OB plus hospital stay will be at least $5000, if not more. UGH! I am frustrated and angry. I understand that the judge was not necessarily slamming Midwifery or its many benefits, but it's still a step backwards and now we have to work twice as hard to try to get it legalized again. However, we will persevere. I have hope that someday women and families will be able to choose the birth and attendants they want without fear of prosecution.
Blessings and Peace

Friday, August 3, 2007

Free the Midwives Rally

Yesterday my friends and I travelled to Jeff City for the Midwifery Rally. It was a very interesting experience, as going up there always is. First we sat on the Capitol steps with signs to show our support for the legal status of Midwives. Then we walked over to the library (which has an amazing kids area) to view the "Business of Being Born". What an inspirational movie. I laughed, I cried, I got angry. Two thumbs up. After that, we went back to the Capitol for a rally in the Rotunda and listened to a few guest speakers. We got an update on the court hearing (you know, the one where the MSMA is throwing a hissy fit because Missouri women finally got back a small portion of their basic human rights.). As it currently stands, a decision should be handed down by next Friday. The question for the judge is no longer what we've been asking for over fifty years, "should Midwives be legal?", but has now changed to "Should Midwives be illegal again?" It was extremely hot and the kids did really well, but it is always difficult to go up there and not get angry at the state of our rights. I just want to scream from the steps, "What gives anyone the authority to tell me what I can and can't do with my own body?" But I don't, for so many reasons. One can only hope that somewhere along the way another brave person in power, like Senator Loudon, will stand up for what is right and not for what makes the most money. Until then, us little people (the ones whose voices are supposed to matter the most) will keep schlepping ourselves to various functions, writing letters, and talking to anyone who will listen about the state of affairs for Missouri Midwives.
Blessings and Peace

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ballad of the Midwife

Ballad of the Midwife
by Herisen
There is a woman that I have come to know
Some say she's the best at what she does
She is a Midwife in a rural community
And she lives a life of service and she's fighting for us all

For in this state the laws are such that Midwives are illegal
At least that's what the courts have said today
The medical people are upset and plan to make an issue
And when women stand up for their rights and realize they will have to fight
When women stand up for their rights we won't just go away

And they picked on a good one this time
For she has the strength of will and the courage to survive
The Joan of Arc in the battle for our right to decide
Every freedom loving person, every mother, every wife
If you care about injustice then you've got to join this fight

Here is a lady that we must stand behind
Every freedom loving woman, child and man
This is not just an issue of where to have your baby
It's the removal of your choices for someone's monetary gain

For in this state the laws are such that midwives are illegal
At least that's what the courts have said today
But the voting population has the right to make the laws
And when women stand up for their rights and realize they will have to fight
When women stand up for their rights we won't just go away
No when women stand up for their rights and realize they will have to fight
When women stand up for their rights we won't just go away
Blessings and Peace

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Springfield News-Leader

Here is a response to an article written in the Springfield News-Leader. To view the article, click here.
The hypocrisy involved in the Missouri State Medical Association's (and partner physician groups) lawsuit against the people of Missouri is truly mind boggling.

Between its initial introduction and the final passage HB818 nearly doubled in size and while all elements pertained to health care and/or making health care more financially accessible - the midwifery provision was far from the only part of the bill that didn't deal with insurance directly.

Let's look at an example from the final summary:


Currently, state agencies are allowed to submit an agency debt to
the Department of Revenue in order to set off the debt by the
person's tax refund. The bill establishes a process for
hospitals and other health care providers to intercept a person's
tax refund or lottery winnings.

Hmmmm.... I don't see anything in the above about Relating to Health Insurance. But wait - that provision will allow the members of the MSMA and the other groups involved in the suite to garnish the funds of Missouri citizens without having to go through the standard judicial oversight required of all of other business. Guess since it isn't a "danger" to patients (or would that be MSMA pocket book?) we don't have to worry about its constitutionality?

As the new law is written it allows *only* Certified Professional Midwives to care for paranatal women as independent practitioners. Practitioners who are CPM certified have undergone a rigorous training process followed by both a clinical and written exam. They are the only birth professionals specifically trained to attend birthing women in an out-of-hospital setting - something virtually no doctor has experience in doing.

Additionally, nothing about the new law prevents the state of Missouri from establishing a licensing board similar to the boards that govern all other allopathic and complimentary care providers in this state. In fact, that was exactly what the midwifery supporters had been attempting to do (and had majority support to do in both Chambers) but where unable to accomplish due to the filibuster maintained by one Senator Chuck Graham, recipient of the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians 2007 MAFP Legislative Award. You'll recognize the MAFP as co-Plaintiffs on the MSMA lawsuit.

If I was a doctor in the state of Missouri I'd be hanging my head in shame at the sophomoric stunts and juvenile tantrums of my trade union. Perhaps their colleagues in Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas or any of the other 37 states where non-Nurse midwives legally take clients can demonstrate that doctors can indeed continue to practice when women are granted the right to choose their own health care providers.

The tactics of the MSMA are outrageous and obviously flawed. While they claim to be concerned about safety issues, let's face facts: they are worried about losing money and being shown up by the high standards of Midwifery care. Doctors can not compete with the Midwifery Model of Care at this time. And they shouldn't have to. They have a specific role in childbirth which should be respected as such. Nothing more, nothing less. In the same vein, Midwives have a specific role too. Let's stop all this childish nonsense and work together for a better maternity care system. Learn from each other.
Blessings and Peace

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Missouri State Medical Association plans to sue the state over the new law which legalizes Midwifery. HB818 was signed into law by the Governor and would allow Certified Professional Midwives to legally practice in Missouri starting in August 2007. The MSMA is pulling out every stop to keep this from happening. Their newest tactic is filing a lawsuit against the state claiming that the law is unconstitutional. From their own website, :
"Through this powerful alliance of organized medicine, we will advocate of behalf of women's health and safety during childbirth by challenging this unconstitutional language."
Okay, let's start with the health and safety issue. The TRUTH is that homebirth with a Midwife is at least as safe, if not safer, than a hospital birth. There is no evidence whatsoever to the contrary, only evidence in favor of Midwifery and homebirth. This has been said time and time again, to the state legislature, to the MSMA, to the media, and so on. Don't take my word for it, look it up online and you'll see that according to the British Medical Journal the statistics point to Midwifery. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends Midwives as the optimal birth attendants for normal pregnancy and birth. For more information on this, check out the Citizens for Midwifery website at
Now let's go for the "unconstitutional" part of their argument. The tactic used to pass this law, tacking it on to another bill, is routinely used at the Capitol and has been for years. This is not a new technique.
Obviously, the MSMA is not really concerned with women's health, safety, and freedom. They are only using this as a crutch for their weak arguments.
Another quote from their website:
"The new sentence grants unprecedented authority to a wide range of professionals, including lay midwives, nurse anesthetists, brick masons, professional golfers, and even ministers."
The sentence they are referring to says nothing of nurses, brick masons, or professional golfers. Furthermore, it specifically states that only persons with tocological certification by an organization accredited by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) may provide services. Last time I checked, professional golfers and such did not have tocological certification. For reference, tocological means "obstetrics". This definition can be found very quickly and easily by an internet search or by looking in a medical dictionary.
Everything else aside, this still goes back to the fact that it's not ANYONE's right, authority, or anything else to tell me who can attend my birth. The MSMA needs to put aside their egos and remember that they all took an oath, "First, do no harm". Harm is being done here and women are not going to stand idly by and let it happen.
If you feel that you deserve the right to have your baby where and with whom you choose, then please act now. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, call your legislator, call the governor, talk to anyone and everyone you can about how wrong this is!!
"When women stand up for their rights and realize they will have to fight, we won't just go away." Ballad of the Midwife
Blessings and Peace

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Governor signs HB818

Well, the governor has done it! He signed HB818 and legalized CPM's!!! A small portion of our rights have been restored. Thank you Governor Blunt. Thank you Senator Loudon for standing up for us at such a high cost to your political career. So many people have worked long and hard for so many years to see this law changed and while it's not exactly what we would have wanted, it will work for now. This is only the beginning. Now we have to work twice as hard to make sure this law sticks and no opposing forces take it away again. But for right now, women and families across the state are taking a deep sigh of relief.
For me personally, this is a two-fold victory. It not only opens the door for my future births and those of my children, but it gives me the opportunity to pursue my chosen profession without fear of going to prison. WooHoo!!!
Blessings and Peace

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Senator Chuck Graham

Senator Chuck Graham has effectively and quickly made it to the top of my poo list. He has consistently blocked the Midwifery bill for a long time now and it needs to STOP!! I don't know why he is so dead set against women's rights, but he is....
He has brought up some of the dumbest arguments I've heard yet. Of course, there's the same old stand by - safety - even though ALL the research points to Midwifery. Yes, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the theory that hospital birth is safer than a planned homebirth with a Midwife. There is research that shows the opposite, however, this doesn't matter to Graham. Then there's the training issue. According to Graham, in order to become a Midwife, I only have to take an internet course and bam, I'm good. Well, sorry to disappoint you Mr. Graham, but again you're way wrong...He said at a recent filibuster he researched the requirements for becoming a Certified Professional Midwife and couldn't find any. He said that NARM (North American Registry of Midwives) didn't have any information on their training-well, duh! They don't provide the training, only the testing!! If you look up the SAT's or ACT's, they don't tell you about schooling because they're not a school-only a test.
Wake up and smell the coffee beans Chuck!!! This is a vital issue and those of us you're stomping on will not go away...We'll keep coming back year after year and we'll do our best to make sure you don't get re-elected. We may not have the big bucks like Dr.'s but we DO VOTE!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Lobbying at the Capitol

Yesterday my friend and I went to the Capitol to lobby for the Midwifery bill. For more information on this bill, click here. It was so frustrating to be told, yet again, that I am too stupid to make an informed decision about where and with whom to give birth. What right does anyone, especially a man who will NEVER give birth, have to tell me what I can and can not do with my body? Birth is such a sacred event and used to be viewed as such. Women in the childbearing year were revered and honored as the blessed beings they were. Now days, though, we are treated like a diseased person who has a tumor that needs to be removed.
Representative Brad Robinson said he could not support our bill because his doctors had shown him some bad transfers from homebirths. When asked for specifics, he could not think of any. Of course, he was trying to watch some sports on TV so maybe he just didn't hear the question correctly. We asked him what about women's rights? He said "I am for some women's rights"!!! Remember this ladies, Rep. Brad Robinson only supports SOME of your rights. If you'd like to send him a comment, click here.
Kudos to Representative Steve Hodges for supporting our bill. He welcome us into his office and even gave us a parting gift, locally grown rice! Send him a little thank you.
If you live in the Campbell area or surrounding communities, please contact Representative Thomas Todd. He needs to know that those of you in his area want Midwifery decriminalized!
Representative Scott Lipke listened to our points very well but was upfront that he wasn't supportive. I think we made some good headway with helping him understand our position but didn't change his mind. He needs some positive contacts and more education. His concerns were the same old safety, education, and liability. Feel free to remind him, as we did, that there is NO evidence anywhere that hospitals are safer for birthing women-only evidence of the other way around. Again, if you are from his area PLEASE contact him so he knows how important this issue is to you. He seems to be under the impression that homebirth and Midwifery aren't very popular in his area.
All in all, I'm glad we went up there but I always leave angry at the way I've been treated. No one is ever outwardly rude, but it's there just below the surface. I feel as if I'm constantly being told that my right and my opinion doesn't matter. Well, it does! Furthermore, research, history, and personal experience are all on my side.